Saturday, April 22, 2006


2nd District Convention: Getting started

10:00 AM - Call to order, invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem. I'm not familiar with all the verses of the anthem, but something tells me the Democrats didn't do the 4th at their convention.

Our candidate for governor, Jim Nussle, was the first speaker. He said the current governor was showing another benefit of the office, one that Nussle hadn't considered before running: Be the governor and see the world.

Nussle set out five challenges that Iowa must face in the coming years:

1 - Iowa should once again set the standard for world class education

The state should encourage good teachers and pay them more. Democrats favor the "scoop shovel" method of funding schools, indiscriminately chucking money into the system and hoping something good will happen. If this worked, Washington, DC would have best school system in the nation. As Governor, Nussle would target spending where it could make a difference.

2 - Iowa needs to grow from within.

Again, throwing money at a problem is not a solution and is certainly not economic development. Nussle called this a game of "50 state roulette" and noted, "Companies play the game better than states."

Nussle stressed that economic development is about creating an environment where Iowans can start new businesses and expand existing ones. Iowa businesses need lower taxes, an end to regulatory morass, affordable insurance, and investment in education in order to improve and compete with businesses elsewhere. New jobs coming a handful at a time from Iowa businesses due to an improved business environment sure seems better than (often empty) promises from out of state companies in return for what amount to bribes from the state.

3 - "Iowa should be and will be if I am governor, the renewable energy capitol of the world."

Nussle noted his work to support ethanol plants across the state and the potential that wind energy presents in some parts of the state as part of his plan to help end our nation's dependence on foreign oil.

4 - Iowans deserve better access to quality affordable healthcare

Nussle said that many parts of Iowa (40 of 99 counties) have no facilities to deliver babies. If we want to attract young families to the state, we have to fix problems like this one. Nussle would like to see the state focus on wellness as opposed to sick care and allow association health plans and heath savings accounts to expand the number of Iowans with access to affordable insurance.

5 - Iowans deserve governmental reform.

Nussle: "When I would talk about reforming government, it used to make people fall asleep." Now, with the exposure of what are "basically incestual relationships" in CEITC, people are taking an interest. "We need accountable management, we need any kind of management, in Des Moines." He congratulated Dave Vaudt for his work in uncovering the scandal

Nussle also said Iowa's police officers need a rescue mission. Our police have been neglected, corrections officers have been neglected, and that will end when Nussle is governor.

Nussle's final subject was about what makes Iowa great: Iowans.

We have productive, solid families and communities. Iowa has the best quality of life on the planet. “In Iowa you’re not a stranger.” Maintaining our strength as a community was the reason Nussle came out against touchplay. Iowans don't want a casino on every corner and it's not the image we should be projecting to prospective Iowans.